Progressively improving formatting and internationalization

This is my first real foray into the world of microformats. While redesigning my personal site and implementing parts of SpanDeX, I've had my eyes on ways of making the HTML more semantic and embedding more machine-readable data [1] in the documents in a human-friendly fashion.

The history of

Bruce Lawson is maintaining an excellent summary of the history of the HTML5

In the winter period when

Since, the pubdate attribute was removed - a boolean value that, to me, seemed out of place and overly-specific the tag. Fuzzy dates and time durations have also been added. And now, its proper usage is still being fleshed out and debated, much like the rest of HTML5.

How it's used

The way I see most people using

<time datetime="2012-02-17">February 17, 2012</time>

or even

<time datetime="Thu Feb 16 2012 18:00:00 GMT-0600 (CST)">February 17, 2012</time>

and then there are really fancy usages of

<time datetime="2012">sometime in the year 2012</time>

or time durations:

<time datetime="PT 2H 9M 2.7S">two hours, nine minutes, and 2.7 seconds from now</time>

Why not reverse the paradigm?

I think the current usage misses the point of the power of the

What I realized is that the label can almost always be inferred from the datetime attribute. All we need, then, is a standard syntax for the datetime attribute (which the HTML5 spec provides) and a standard conversion to human-readable format.

Data and user-driven web pages

Progressive Enhancement


1: because AI still has a lot to figure out.

2: often a synonym for "terrible".

3: The deadly "duplication" sin: never duplicate code, never duplicate data.